The stand-out fruit right now is the humble orange.
February-March is arguably the peak time of year for oranges, with the best varieties from Mediterranean growing regions now available. The fruit currently being harvested are the mid to late season varieties that have been hanging on the trees since blossom in April and have developed a sweetness and depth of flavour not experienced at other times of year.
In all stores right now is a wonderful selection of delicious varieties.
Top of the list are the lovely blood oranges from Sicily, particularly the Tarocco and its variants (such as Ippolito in Waitrose). The Tarocco flavour is sublime and the soft, juicy texture of the segments is exquisite. The Moro blood orange is a good alternative which tends to a slightly more acidic taste that many people may prefer.
The most important orange from Spain, the Navel, is also in tip-top condition. Navelates and Lane Lates are the main varieties right now and are beautiful to eat, with lovely flavour, sweetness and juiciness.
Also available are Salustianas from Spain. They have soft segments, are mildly flavoured, but full of juice, so are ideal for squeezing.
The original flavoursome ‘Jaffa’ orange, the Shamouti, is also available in some stores (recently spotted in Asda and Tesco).
For those who love their homemade marmalade, don’t forget that the Seville orange season is also in full-flow: a unique variety from the south of Spain.
Look at the labels or ask store staff for:
Tarocco blood orange, including Ippolito in Waitrose
Moro blood orange
Navelate and Lane Late Navel oranges
Shamouti Jaffa oranges
©Good Fruit Guide. Recommendations on fruit varieties and types with the best taste are personal to the editor of Good Fruit Guide, and do not attempt to be exhaustive or supported by verifiable consumer research. The highlighting of fruit with the very best taste in the opinion of the editor is not intended as a judgement on the taste of varieties and types of fruit not mentioned.